Monday, 19 November 2012

Liverpool v Wigan Athletic

After a midweek break due to the international matches,Liverpool resumed their Premier League season by hosting Wigan Athletic with the Latics coming to Anfield looking to win for the second year in a row after a 2-1 victory last March began their run to survival from relegation.

Liverpool welcomed back stalwart Jose Reina between the sticks but other than his return it was business as usual with the trio of Suarez, Suso and Sterling up top.

The home side came out of the traps first with Enrique trying his luck after earning possession deep in the Wigan half but his shot in anger flew wide of the target but showed Liverpool's intent for the game.

Suso showed his silky skills by making the most of playing just behind Suarez as he took the ball past his marker to then swish past a further two defenders but when taking the chance at goal was blocked just on the edge of the area.

As is the trend with Liverpool this season, there was massive intent early on but no breakthrough and Wigan saw this as a chance to create an opening in the 15th minute as a well worked attack allowed Arouna Kone to put in Ben Watson but Watson's shot cannoned over the bar.

Wigan pushed again as Kone shimmied past Allen and tried for goal but his shot caused no trouble for the returning Reina. Liverpool pushed back with chances for Agger and Suso, the Dane's connecton from a corner went off target and the Spaniard forced a save from Al Habsi with a strong drive as the ante was increased.

In the 25th minute, a 50-50 aerial challenge between Sterling and Watson saw Watson come off worse and leave the field in pain to be replaced by David Jones. Suso continued to impress with some good pressure down the left side by Johnson giving the 18 year old a chance to head for goal but his header went over in what was his last contribution to the game as in the 35th minute he left the field to be replaced by Jordan Henderson.

 Liverpool ended the half with a chance to go in ahead as Gerrard's control put Suarez through but he then attempted to setup Enrique only for Al Habsi to collect the ball and ensure that the half ended with both teams level.

From the restart, Liverpool continued their pressure and within two minutes it paid off as an exceptional interception allowed Sterling to break down the right side and cut back into the path of Suarez who swept the ball home to send the home fans into a roar and Liverpool into the lead.

Suarez added to his tally in the 58th minutes after Enrique collected the ball on the left and advanced on the Wigan defence before sliding an intricate pass to Suarez who ran on and slipped the ball past the oncoming Al Habsi with a truly calming finish.

Liverpool were in the mood to silence the doubters of their lack of goals and Suarez came close to an hat-trick as he burst past the defence but a defection took his shot into the side netting.

Wigan were now pushing to stay in the game and in doing so led to another struggle against the new trio of Enrique, Suarez and Sterling who exploited the visitors' for a third time in the 65th minute as Sterling created a one-two with Suarez who collected the final pass to deliver to the far post and in ran Enrique to tap home into an empty net and all but seal a win for Liverpool.

Wigan were carved open again through Johnson but luckily for them his effort found the wrong side of the post and Suarez was denied his hat-trick after being put in by Enrique but failed to find the net.

The final whistle sounded and Liverpool claimed a win which kept up an unbeaten run which spans seven games while Suarez took his seasonal tally to 13 and became the first player to hit double figures in the League with his 9th and 10th today.

Next up for Liverpool sees Swiss side Young Boys visit Anfield on Thursday hoping to avenge their 5-3 defeat to a young Liverpool side in Bern earlier in the season.